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U.S. Forest Service

Legacy Roads and Trails Program Frequently Asked Questions


  1. How much funding will the Forest Service receive to decommission and repair roads in fiscal year 2013?

    2013 funding for Legacy Roads and Trails is currently $39 million, with an additional $9 million dedicated to Integrated Resource Restoration (IRR) activities that include road decommissioning and maintenance.

  2. What does the Forest Service accomplish with Legacy Roads and Trails funding in a given year?

    According to the Forest Service Road Accomplishment Reports (RARs), the $45 million in Legacy Roads and Trails funding in Fiscal Year 2011 accomplishments on the ground included:

    1. Roads decommissioned: 581 miles
    2. Roads maintained: 1,172 miles
    3. Roads improved: 498 miles
    4. Bridges constructed, reconstructed (including culvert to bridge upgrades): 57
    5. Aquatic organism passage restored (culverts fixed or replaced): 143


  1. Who are the major partners with the Forest Service on road issues?

    Wildlands CPR and The Wilderness Society are the two biggest partners of the U.S. Forest Service on road issues? These groups provided the major work with Congress to enact the Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation Initiative championed by Congressman Norm Dicks (D-Washington) in 2008.

Travel Management

  1. What is the Forest Service doing about its road network?

    The “Travel Management” analysis effort that is currently under way will help the Forest Service identify how to best “right-size” our vast road network, reduce impacts to natural resources from sedimentation and fragmentation, and still provide access for recreation, timber management and fire management into the future.

  2. What is the Forest Service’s Travel Management Plan?

    The Forest Service Travel Management Rule, promulgated in 2005, has three parts:

    1. Subpart A – Administration of the Forest Transportation System to identify the minimum road system needed for safe and efficient travel and for the protection, management, and use of National Forest System lands; and identify roads that are no longer needed to meet forest resource management objectives and; therefore, scheduled for decommissioning or considered for other uses
    2. Subpart B – Designation of roads, trails, and areas for motor vehicle use; and
    3. Subpart C – Use by over-snow vehicles.
  3. Does the Forest Service have a backlog of road maintenance and reconstruction?

    The Forest Service recognizes that a significant number of roads need to be removed to bring the road system down to a manageable, maintainable system that still meets the needs of the agency and forest users. The Forest Service generally has the funding generally to maintain 20% of our road network each year. In 2011, the Forest Service maintained 16% of its road network, concentrating on passenger vehicle roads with less maintenance on high clearance or closed roads.

  4. What is the 2013 budget for Legacy Roads and Trails?

    The President’s proposed 2013 budget for Legacy Roads & Trails is $45,000,000. For the Integrated Resource Restoration (IRR) pilot regions, Regions 1, 3, and 4, Legacy Roads and Trails money is pooled with a number of other budgets to be used for watershed and landscape restoration activities, which include road decommissioning and maintenance.

  5. How is the Forest Service decommissioning roads in 2013?

    In FY 2012, the activities within the Roads budget line item were revised to clarify which activities are being performed on the existing road system versus when work will result in new miles of road being added to the system. In FY 2013, the Decommission Roads activity was moved to the Integrated Resource Restoration budget line item within the Legacy Roads and Trails activity. Decommissioning unneeded roads and structures eliminates the environmental effects of such roads and helps achieve ecological, terrestrial and aquatic restoration objectives. The work performed on the ground can include removing drainage structures, constructing water bars and scarifying and seeding the road bed. Refer to the Integrated Resource Restoration section in the National Forest System appropriation for more details